TIGERS PREVAIL:

After scoring just one run and recording zero hits in a season opening loss to Philo on Saturday, the Marietta High baseball team responded Monday with a 9-3 victory over Alexander at Legion Field.

Down 3-0 early, the Tigers used a four-run second inning to take the lead and added two more in the fourth and three more in the fifth to take down the Spartans and pick up their first victory of 2013.

“Today we came back,” said Marietta co-head coach Larry Burke. “The second inning, we manufactured some runs. We bunted the ball well.”

Devin Leister (1-0) and Adam McKnight each pitched three quality innings for Marietta, while Sawyer pitched a scoreless final inning in addition to going 3-4 with three runs batted in at the plate.

“(Sawyer) stepped up today,” Burke said. “He took a third strike his first time up, but then he came back and ended up with three hits. Sawyer had a very good day today.”

Leister and Nick Spurr each picked up a pair of hits as well.

Alexander hurler Tyler Vickers went three innings and gave up six runs.

Sloppy defense in the first two frames allowed the Spartans to jump out to a 3-0 lead, but MHS would settle down and take over from there.

In the bottom of the second, Nathan Bryan led off with a walk. McKnight sacrificed Bryan over and reached base safely on an error. Nick Lewis followed with a sac bunt of his own to move the runners into scoring position before Ben Barnas drew a walk to load the bases.

Austin Hefter came up and hit a groundball that was misplayed to score Bryan. Two more groundballs by Steve Herron and Leister brought home McKnight and Barnas. Sawyer capped the inning with an RBI-single to center that plated Hefter and gave Marietta a 4-3 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth, Leister started things off with a bunt single.

He immediately came around to score on Sawyer’s double to center field.

After Spurr reached on a single and Bryan on a hit-by-pitch, Michael Ullman drew a bases-loaded walk to send Sawyer across the plate and make the score 6-3 in the Tigers’ favor.

The following inning, Marietta tacked on three more runs to put the game away. The first four batters of the inning reached base, starting with a base on balls for Herron. Leister then singled to left field before Sawyer picked up his third hit, a single to right, to drive in Herron. After Spurr walked to load the bases, Leister and Sawyer each scored on wild pitches.

“The kids hung in there,” Burke said. “They really bounced back after a tough loss to Philo.”

The win brought Marietta’s record to 1-1 on the young season. The Tigers are back in action at 5 p.m. today, when they host the Athens Bulldogs.